After Naples-based Delicious Rawtemporarily closed all seven of its locations on March 20 because of the coronavirus pandemic, three of its local eateries will not be reopening. The locations at The Pavilion and Pine Ridge Crossing shopping centers in Naples and the kiosk at Coconut Point mall in Estero have permanently closed. The original location sharing space with The Café in downtown Naples already reopened and will continue to operate, said co-founder Flemming Madsen.
“We had to make that very, very difficult decision to close some stores. We have a very strong concept but, unfortunately, we just had to reevaluate everything,” Madsen said. “We were not able to sustain the model where we supply the stores from a commissary kitchen. We just didn’t have the volume to justify it during the COVID situation. These stores were a lot smaller than the stores on the east coast and didn’t have the set-up to make food on site.”
Delicious Raw’s location in Aventura also permanently closed, but the larger locations in Davie and South Beach on Florida’s east coast have reopened. So, three Delicious Raw locations continue to operate, said Madsen, who remains confident about his concept and anticipates eventually being able to launch additional locations.
The Café on Fifth has been owned and operated by Madsen and his wife, Gitte, for more than a decade. They opened their first Delicious Raw juice bar alongside it in 2013. With the addition of more locations in Naples, Delicious Raw transitioned from a juice bar to a healthy restaurant concept. They started serving food in 2015 and really stepped up the menu in 2016 and 2017.
Before the coronavirus impacted business, Delicious Raw enjoyed a successful first quarter of 2020, said Madsen, who is looking at ways to transform his restaurant operation. “In some ways, we are vulnerable to this kind of negative economic impact,” he said. “We are working intensively at how we might be able to continue our operation in this kind of environment.”
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